Mormon Art’s Primadonna takes center stage at BYU MOA

Last month I had an opportunity to head down to Utah and do the Mormon Art Trifecta – The Church Museum of History and Art, The BYU Museum of Art, and the Springville Museum of Art. I had heard marvelous things particularly about BYU MOA’s Beholding Salvation exhibit and was excited to get to experience it. Unfortunately, my timing was bad and I just missed Beholding Salvation, but the other two museums didn’t let me down, with a Relief Society exhibit at the Church Musuem and the annual Spring Salon in Springville (upon which I shall elaborate in an upcoming post) making the trip worthwhile.

Well, it looks like my next trip, if I can make it to Sister Sato’s Salt Lake wedding at the end of August, will redeem BYU MOA for me this summer. Mormon art’s very own primadonna Minerva Teichert will be featured in an exhibit that promises to be far more fascinating even than her usually superb artwork.

“Minerva Teichert: Pageants in Paint,” opens on Friday, July 27 and will run through May 26, 2008. It features some of her work from private collections not seen before, which is promising enough, but the theme of the exhibit is a focus on the influence of pageants and murals on the seminal turn-of-the-century woman artist.

We’ve seen Teichert at her most dramatic in the Manti temple – the world room boasting a proud procession of temporal history. But what this exhibit promises to unfold is the influence that American mural paintings as well as the distinctly Utah art culture of drama and dance had on Teichert’s 2-dimensional work. The social and historical implications of this as well are fascinating, and I for one am excited to catch the opening act. I hope those of you who can make it will take the chance to see the exhibit.

10 thoughts on “Mormon Art’s Primadonna takes center stage at BYU MOA”

  1. “and the annual Spring Salon in Springville (upon which I shall elaborate in an upcoming post)…”

    (Brag Alert) My traditional realist brother had a piece in the Salon this spring. He usually does get something in; a few years back he even took “Best in Show” or whatever the artsy equivalent is. This year the piece he had in sold–so cool.

    Thanks for the Teichert alert! Can’t get to it myself (too far away), but I’ll pass this info on.

  2. Thanks so much for the heads up, Anneke. I happen to be going to Utah for the first time in over five years in a couple of weeks, so I will make it a point to head down to Provo and catch this. I’m a huge Teichert fan.

  3. My wife and I agree that when we someday have a home we want to have a good dose of gospel-themed art on the walls.

    The disagreement is that I want to fill our walls with Teichert paintings, while she likes Liz Lemon Swindle (okay in moderation) and Greg Olsen (way too many sheep and kids, way overboard with the “mood lighting” effect).

    Maybe this will help me convince here (“See, even the MOA agrees.”) Then again, despite her psych degree from the Y, she’s not so fond of BYU, so maybe I shouldn’t mention it after all.

    I wish I could be there to see it.

  4. I really like some of Teichert’s work, but I’m glad it’s not the only church artwork we have. I could say the same for any other artist.

  5. Thanks for the post. Great work.

    [EDIT: Thanks for the spam LDS gift shopper. I’m sure AMV’s readers are just the sort of folks who would rush out to a site called “buylds” dawt com.  But hey, it’s reassuring that the work we do is appreciated by the lds spam community. ~Wm Morris]

  6. I happen to watch a documentary on Teichert last night on the BYU channel. I had seen it before but what I had missed was that she never had a real studio and that her Book of Mormon series was rejected by the Church. I was totally amazed by these facts. I wondered if she would have been as well know as Georgia O’Keeffe as a modernist pioneer in the art world if she had had similar support like O’Keeffe’s.

    Just as a side note the Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe rejected O’Keeffe’s art early in her career. They had to scramble and beg to get some of her artwork in their collection after she died.

  7. I wonder if Teichert was being referred to in that talk by Elder Packer where he complained about a time some images were presented that looked all scribbly. It may very well have been the case. Well, he said he was not art expert, bless his heart 😉 I didn’t used to like Elder Packer, but now that I’m old enough to rent a car, he makes sense more and more.

  8. I was just in Utah and saw the exhibit. It is well worth a trip to the BYU Museum of Art for a viewing. Now I know for sure she is an artist that deserves way more recognition than she has received. It is to bad that it is 700 miles from where I live because I would visit it again for a closer look.

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